Self is just whiling away the afternoon. Happy as a clam. She made only one foray into the world, to Safeway for more bottled water. While waiting at checkout, she saw from OK or US magazine that J-Law was engaged to be married to that English boyfriend of hers. Which is definitely tragic for the legions of Joshifer and Everlark fan-dom.
Anyhoo, self just finished reading a passage of BLGF that made her 100% smarter. And she’s only on p. 50! By the time she gets through with the 1,100 pages of BLGF, she’ll no doubt be a candidate for Mensa! Woot Hoot!!!
This is a section from “Croatia.” (The remaining sections are, in order of appearance: Dalmatia, Expedition, Herzegovina, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Old Serbia, and Montenegro)
The section begins on p. 50 with the sentence:
If on a king’s death he should leave an idiot heir or none, the nobles would send, perhaps far away, to a man whose fame lay in violence, in order to avoid war among themselves.
It ends about a page later with:
The people screamed in pain.
What? What? Holy Moly! Let’s find out how we got here with the poor peasants screaming!
So self then turns back to the previous page to find out what happened in the interim. The people bring in an alien king blah blah and this king, “terrified of his insecure position in a strange land . . . asked little of the nobles and came down like a scourge on the peasants, and was tempted to plunder them beyond need and without mercy.” He would “demand certain sums from the nobles” and the nobles would then, instead of dipping into their “private treasures,” wring the sums “out of the peasants.” This is bad, but “still graver” is the possibility that “the king’s alien blood would let him make contracts to their disadvantage with foreign powers.” Lest one pooh-pooh such a threat, RW writes:
This danger was very grave indeed. For though there is a popular belief that negotiations to take the place of warfare are a modern invention, nothing could be further from the truth. The Middle Ages were always ready to lay down the sword and sign an agreement, preferably for a cash payment.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you think this is an exhausting way to get through one page of BLGF, then just imagine 950 more of these, since that’s what is involved, apparently. Self better make sure her keyboard arm remains well rested and tuned.
When self feels able to skip, she will skip. This is private reading, not the kind that needs to result in a term paper!